Monday, 1 February 2016
I'm going to keep this site as an archive for now but I have moved!
You can now find me at www.siobhanclaudevandamme.co.uk
Come along and say "Hi"
Now I'm doing a wee bit better I hope to do the following
1. Keep a better posting schedule
2. Actually start commenting on blogs again (I do still read - I'm lurking away)
See you in my new locale!!!
Monday, 14 December 2015
Insomnia is a pain, isn’t it? Particularly when you find yourself overwhelmed with a way of explaining yourself to other people.
And that is what happened to me the other night. So you now know I have joint hypermobility and I have delusional disorder but I seem to have found a wonderful unifying and entirely anecdotally based unifying theory for the whole thing. This comes following a lot of conversations with a lot of people.
Here it is in all its messy glory:
As you know I am hypermobile. This means all my connective tissue is excessively loose and flexible/springy. As a result my body does stuff it is not meant to do; my knees go past straight when on lock, I fall into a lot of things, and my joints subluxate all the darn time.
This also means I bruise easily, have a really messed up idea of where my body is in space (poor proprioception) particularly in relation to other people and things. This is why I probably never should ride my bike in traffic…
I also have delusional disorder. So my brain makes connections that are not there. A lot.
How we learn is making connections. I learned my way around London and then Edinburgh by learning discrete parts and connecting them up. We learn to associate oven tops with being hot so don’t touch them. This is part of how brains should work.
Mine keeps going though. So I think: Hey I see that guy a lot when I am having a good day – he must be connected to my days being good somehow. Which then turns into: I have not seen that guy – my day is going to suck. Which turns into: where is he? Does he know he is my good luck charm? Does everyone know? Are they all talking about me?
Meanwhile my brain is also amassing a vast range of collections of stuff it collects. These vary over time but have included: an encyclopaediac knowledge of Abba’s number ones; every compliment I have ever received; every criticism I have ever received; what clothes various people have – so I’ll know your entire wardrobe if I see you often enough; very bit of information that comes my way about some people; song lyrics of various artists; stuff to do with work and so on. I don’t seem to have much control over these collections. They just build and once started they seem to be something I have to keep adding to until I don’t.
One way of seeing this is as an extension of the hypermobility. Like my connective tissue has too much stretch I think my brain has too much stretch so sometimes it just keeps going. And where I have poor proprioception in the physical world I seem to have it in the social world as well. I am always convinced people find me weird or scary because I can remember some of our conversations word for word and what both of us were wearing when we had that conversation. Particularly as when this is quiet bad there will be other things I have no memory of AT ALL.
I don’t know if this helps anyone else but it sure helps me to think of the two as being connected – particularly with regard to my super receptive nervous system and my tendency to high anxiety!
Anyway I think (hope) this is the last of these posts for a while as I start to get stuck into some therapy to help me stop some of the cycles I get stuck in. Because I think they can be hard to take sometimes.
Thank you for reading and joining me on this journey. I’ll keep in touch.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
|Macaroni Cheese with Brussel Sprouts and Grain Mustard|
I’ll be honest – this is NOT the most photogenic of dishes. It is however really tasty – though some would argue you should never sully a macaroni cheese with (gasp) vegetables. I however think the sprouts add more than they take away from this dish and really enjoyed messing about with my classic macaroni cheese recipe by adding a bag of sprouts from the local supermarket. This was inspired by seeing other recipes for this – but I like and know my own old macaroni cheese recipe, so I just used that and added sprouts!
Brussels Sprout Macaroni Cheese
350g Brussel Sprouts (finely chopped – you can do this in the food processor)
150g Strong Cheddar
100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative like these)
500ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
50g Rolled Oats
3 heaped teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 Onion halved
1 Bay leaf
1 Clove Garlic – peeled
1. First get your macaroni on to cook – this should take about ten minutes. For the last 5 minutes of the cooking time add you sprouts. This will cause the macaroni to form into a solid lump at the base of the saucepan. This can be undone by tipping the sprouts and pasta into a colander after cooking, rinsing with cold water and separating with a fork. Pre-heat the oven to 190C
2. While your macaroni is cooking warm your milk. Set the milk to heat with the onion, bay leaf and garlic. Once warmed through take off the heat and put to one side while you make your roux.
3. Melt 50g butter in a saucepan and then add 50g of plain flour. Stir until this forms a paste. Remove this from the heat and start adding the milk (you may want to strain it first!) The milk may seem clumpy at first but keep adding and stirring and it will improve!
4. Once the milk has all been incorporated add all the cheddar cheese and 50g of the parmesan and stir in until melted. Add the mustard and season to taste.
5. Combine the pasta with the sauce and transfer to an over proof dish. Top with the oats and then the remaining parmesan and put in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.
This can be served with a green salad if you are trying to be healthier or with garlic bread for those desiring a carb-fest.